Partnering to finance enterprise development in the aboriginal social economy

A significant portion of the Aboriginal population lives in rural and remote locations. Many Aboriginals do not have access to financial services in their communities. Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFIs), created in the 1980s through a partnership with the federal government, are a key source of business financing and support services for Aboriginal entrepreneurs. Some are exploring the creation of a financial institution to service personal and community banking needs. This paper examines the potential for AFIs to evolve from their current developmental role to that of full-service financial providers, such as credit unions. It also raises related policy issues.

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